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Don Lemon Tonight
Ukrainians Forcefully Brought To Russia; Russian Roces Opened Fire To Protesters; Russia Claim Thousands Died From Their Forces; Russian Forces Commits War Crime; Ukrainian Wrote His Diary Of War; Safety And Security Are Top Priorities; Ketanji Brown Jackson's Hearing Kicks Off. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired March 21, 2022 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: DON LEMON TONIGHT, live from Ukraine starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hi Laura, how are you?
COATES: I'm good, the question is how are you over there. What we're seeing just really unbelievable, what's it like in person?
LEMON: It's -- it's quite strange, I said earlier and I'll say it again later, we can have air sirens going off at any moment and then church bells. At the top of the hour here the church bells, sometimes we hear the sir sirens, it's just, it's surreal. Is the way to put it.
So, you know, we're being -- we're being very safe here, not going out without security and as they say, keeping our heads down. The church bells are going off right now by the way. But then we're also watching things at home, I got to watch a little bit today between doing my shots here, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and her confirmation hearings, I started watching and I texted a friend back home and I said she is the American dream.
She is the American dream, she took advantage of the imminent American educational system, she has this beautiful family, she's a family woman. This big family, her immediate family and part of her in laws biracial and she's the American dream and, I think she will be confirmed. We'll see, but it's really something to watch especially in all these years of the court and not having a black woman on the court.
COATES: It was something to behold today, that's for sure, and I look forward, of course she's a very qualified --
COATES: -- person for the Supreme Court on top of all that you just mentioned. But it really is in a way to think about what you are experiencing, what's your experience in Ukraine, it really is the fight for democracy in part of our democracy as you know involves having a system of checks and balances, having a court like the Supreme Court of the United States to be able to actually hold people accountable to the Constitution.
And so, it feels oddly surreal and a certain quiet tragedy and seeing what's happening here and what's happening in Ukraine when we know what's at stake in a democracy is perilous it's just unbelievable.
LEMON: Yes. Very well put, our democracy is in peril and we're watching from overseas and at home. Laura, I'll see you tomorrow night, thanks so much. Have a good one.
COATES: Stay safe, Don. Lemon.
LEMON: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT -- thank you so much, Laura. This is DON LEMON TONIGHT.
I'm here in Lviv in western Ukraine where I spent the day talking with some of the people forced to flee their homes to come here. We're going to have more on that in just a moment.
Meantime, President Joe Biden's confirming tonight that Russia has used hypersonic missiles in Ukraine. But sources tell CNN the U.S. hasn't been able to determine if Russia even has a top commander leading the war.
That as the Pentagon says there is, quote, "clear evidence that Russian forces are committing war crimes." Russia claims more than 62,000 residents of Mariupol have been evacuated but to Russia. CNN cannot immediately verify those numbers but Mariupol city council says residents were taken to Russian territory against their will. That after Ukraine rejected Russia's demands to surrender Mariupol. President Zelenskyy saying this tonight. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF Ukraine (through translator): Hardworking, honest city of Mariupol which is being destroyed by the occupiers and being reduced to ashes. But it will survive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That as local authorities say at least 200 people are sheltering here in Lviv. Everywhere you go you meet refugees here. I talked to a young woman who fled the destruction in Kharkiv with her mother and ended up right here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARINA, FLED KHARKIV WITH HER MOTHER: I think I was shocked, I couldn't even cry, I didn't feel anything, I was like, I'm happy I'm alive, I didn't leave the house, I don't need anything, I just want to be alive and safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: For the refugees coming here, Lviv is a place of relative safety. But any moment, the church bells you hear in the city on the hour could be followed by air sirens.
And in Kyiv, a strict new curfew is in effect until Wednesday morning. After a powerful explosion ripped through a shopping center, deadly shrapnel hitting nearby apartment buildings killing at least eight people. Russia claims that the shopping center was hiding rocket launchers, Ukraine has dismissed the claim.
And I have to warn you, this video is very difficult to watch. Russian troops opening fire on protesters in Kherson. (AUDIO GAP) is seen bleeding after being shot. He was reportedly hospitalized. We're going to update you on all of that. We're live in Ukraine in Washington, D.C.
I want to go first to our international correspondents, Sam Kiley is live for us in Kyiv, and Ivan Watson is in Dnipro. Hello to both of you. Sam, I'm going to start with you. Kyiv is being targeted by more Russian strikes, what's the situation on the ground tonight?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, once again, here in Kyiv, we've had one of these pinpoint accurate long range cruise type or bigger missiles aimed into the city. Now this hit a residential area, it hit more specifically a shopping mall, a very large shopping mall, Don, causing an enormous amount of damage, killing eight people. And wreaking havoc across the northern area of town.
And it's not that far from the front lines and I was in a similar location a couple of days ago where a missile had been shot at the sky and the warhead had come down and detonated did similar levels of damage. These are very, very damaging missiles. They're probably resorting to using these, Don, because the Russian forces have been pushed back from the outskirts of Kyiv to buy Ukrainian counterattack and we are now seeing a lot more of these attempts to use these missiles.
Some of them got shut down, some of them get through. The Russians have claimed that the Ukrainians had weapons launching systems in this area or underneath the shopping mall. But this is part of the ongoing attempts to hit out I think, we're seeing a slight shift in the tactics.
Yes, the bombardment of civilian areas is going on but now they're clearly getting better intelligence in trying to hit what they claim, at least, are military targets with these very specifically aimable missiles, Don.
LEMON: Sam, you just said that Russia put out a video purporting to show Ukrainian weapons systems but Ukraine is denying that?
KILEY: Yes, the Ukrainians have completely dismissed it saying that, if this is the video that the Russians have put out, if the -- if this was a location of an arms dump, if it was a location being used for multiple rockets launching systems or a similar source of weapons that the Ukrainians do have, then there would've been secondary explosions. That this was a spokesman or an adviser to the president's office saying that if this were a place where armaments are stored, there were even secondary explosions, there would be a great deal more devastation. We did not, and the locals did not report any secondary explosions.
But these things are very difficult to get to ultimately. And I mean that quite literally in that the both sides are operating in near and around civilian areas. They are in urban areas, it's very difficult for the Ukrainians, for example, who are fighting to protect an urban area, not to have military equipment co-located or near buildings.
That is just a fact of life if you are putting pressure and encircling a city, the people defending the city are going to defend it from the city by definition. So, it goes into a pretty gray area as to whether or not either side really can be accused of hiding their weapons deliberately among civilian areas. Don.
LEMON: to Ivan Watson on his reporting. Ivan, I have in Washington, on his reporting, Ivan, Ukraine's President Zelenskyy saying today the city of Mariupol is being reduced to ashes. You spoke to people who fled the city. What do we know about what's happening there?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The people who are fortunate enough to escape this port city which has been besieged for weeks now by the Russian military, they describe having a really quite literally gone through hell. Cowering in their basements for weeks without electricity, without heat, running water, without internet or cell phone coverage.
So, in a news vacuum while being pummeled by Russian artillery and airstrikes and they even say, by warships pounding the city. Take a listen to an excerpt from a conversation I had with one man who escaped with his family just last Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: One day a shell exploded near Dimitri as he stood in line for water.
UNKNOWN: Bombs went down and killed like three people in front of us. One guy was without head who was like taking the water, another one in the line, it was like a half of the head. And the last one was killed with my own eyes like not in a general, like a three people completely are shot and killed and we were making a grave for them.
WATSON: You dug a grave for them?
WATSON: In your neighborhood.
WATSON: Finally, it was all too much.
UNKNOWN: The last day I saw my father, because my mother was completely destroyed mentally, I mean it was like completely depression was sitting in the cellar. And she hadn't left the cellar since the beginning of the war. Just staying inside. Unfortunately. And the last day I saw my father and he begged me that please guys, leave, leave somewhere, I don't know where, just escape this, escape this and he was crying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: That Don, Ukrainian officials are saying they're trying to get convoys of buses to Mariupol to help evacuate civilians who have been trapped there. The people who have escaped tend to get out in their own privately owned cars. There were more than 3,000, according to Ukrainian officials who got out today but it's a dangerous journey.
Another Ukrainian local official says that there are a number of children, four in hospital, two in critical condition, because of two separate incidents involving cars that were escaping coming under fire. So, this is dangerous, it's dangerous for the people that are trapped inside and it's dangerous for them to try to get out.
Meanwhile, this modern-day siege of a city that had a population of 400,000 people before the war began continues.
LEMON: Ivan, those 62,000 residents who are reportedly evacuated to Russia, what do you know about them?
KILEY: Well, we know that the Russian military says that they have taken 60,000 plus people to Russia and they have received safety there. Now, the Ukrainians are saying, hey those people are being taken against their will to nearby Russia.
It is hard for us to tell, you know, who's telling the truth. And frankly, if we are able to talk to some of those people who went to Russia, not quite sure how comfortable they feel to speak openly with us.
I can tell you about the observations and what some of the people who escaped from Mariupol have told me. Mariupol is geographically close to Russia, it's a Russian-speaking city, and as one person put it, he was culturally close to Russia. He felt himself a Russian perhaps more than he felt like a citizen of Ukraine.
That is until this man put it to me, Russia began bombarding his home. And destroying his city. And then he said, after I witnessed that, I became much more Ukrainian. Because he was furious that the Russian military had invaded and destroyed -- decided to destroy his home.
This is a man who worked at the Azovstal hulking steel works in Mariupol which is a Soviet era steel factory which still exist today but was pretty much destroyed by this bombardment. So, there may be some people in Mariupol who sympathize, who might have wanted to go to Russia to escape the bombardment or frankly get anywhere to escape living through the hell there. But I do not think you can underestimate the amount of anger from
people who have been subjected to quite frankly, you know, World War II style tactics of decimating their city in an effort to try to push out the Ukrainian defenders from that city.
And I might add, there are still Ukrainian forces inside, they have refused Russian demands to surrender. They claim to be still hitting Russian tanks and troops and even a gunship in the nearby sea of Azov. And as they continue fighting, we just do not know how many civilians remain hiding in the basements of their shattered homes right now enduring this inhumane bombardment.
LEMON: Yes, it's interesting because some of the people we spoke to today, Ivan, have relatives in Russia and they say their relatives could not understand why they didn't flee to Russia. And they were simply perplexed by that, why would we want to flee to the very people who are bombing them.
And their sentiments are exactly the same as where you have been hearing, they said that I have never hated anyone before but I certainly hate what the Russians are doing and they wish actually quite frankly ill-will on them and they want them to stop.
Thank you, Ivan Watson. Thank you, Sam Kiley. We really appreciate both of you. Thanks so much.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby today saying that the U.S. sees, quote, "clear evidence that Russian forces are committing war crimes in their invasion of Ukraine."
I want to bring in our CNN military analyst and retired air force colonel, Cedric Leighton. Colonel, thank you. I appreciate you joining us this evening.
Let's start with Mariupol. More than three weeks into this invasion, Russia can't take the city but they are reducing it to rubble. Do you think that we'll see the strategy, this strategy used against Kyiv and other cities that just won't surrender?
CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I do think so, Don. I think that, you know, what you see in Mariupol is, you know, kind of this classic insurgent -- encirclement and this real siege that is taking place here. But if you go back out to Kyiv, and you see similar, similar things happening here. Kharkiv, Kherson, of course, had the experience there. And potentially in the future, Odessa. I think we are going to see some situations that are very similar to what is happening in Mariupol. And that is an absolute disaster for any urban area, and for any of the people who are living there, and are still remaining.
LEMON: Colonel, a dam outside of Kyiv is delaying Russia's advance towards the city after flooding the surrounding area, there are questions that this dam was hit with as a strike, or purposefully released to slow down their advance. Either way, conditions are already muddy and this is making them more so. Tell us what this mud, what did they do to a modern army.
LEIGHTON: Well, it can slow down a modern army like you wouldn't believe. And if you've ever looked at a muddy field, and you walk across and you find that you are going a lot slower than you would if the ground were dry and solid.
So, what you see here, Don, is a situation where these fields right here appear to be flooded. But that's just one part of it, and it's right near an airfield by the way. So, if they are trying to go from here to there, and let's say they are coming this way, it would be pretty hard for them to pass through.
But let's get a closer look. And you see here, a much broader area that appears to be inundated with water. This is going to slow down anybody who is going through this area, and if there is a low-lying area like right in here, this could easily be flooded as the dam waters go over this.
And that means that all of the tanks stop, all of the armored personnel carrier stop, and it's very hard to resume any type of convoy that is going through these areas. It becomes really difficult. The same thing happened to the Germans in World War II, what is going on with the Russians here, or what could potentially go on with them, is very much like this. And it could really impede their progress and their efforts to encircle Kyiv.
LEMON: Colonel, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.
LEIGHTON: You bet, Don.
LEMON: Up next, escape from Kharkiv. When the Russians rolled in, he refused to leave. Documenting his experiences in his diary. Why this Ukrainian journalist finally left his hometown? And why he says that the thought of possibly never going back scares him more than explosions.
LEMON: Cities all across Ukraine being bombarded, one of them is Kharkiv. It has faced heavy Russian strikes since the start of Vladimir Putin's invasion, and continues to suffer from attacks.
My next guest is a Kharkiv resident, he's been documenting his experience in the war in a very personal diary, including his escape from the city. Dmytro Kuzubov joins me now. Dmytro, I'm so glad you're here. Thank you very much. We appreciate it.
You have lived through hell since this war began, but you are able to flee Kharkiv. What was it like to get out, and are you safe where you are right now?
DMYTRO KUZOBOV, KHARKIV RESIDENT WHO FLED DESTRUCTION: Hello. Yes. I am in Poltava Region and it's about 100 kilometers from Kharkiv. It's quite safe right now, but you can't be completely safe in Ukraine or anywhere. Because the occasions, they are bombing western cities. So, you can't be completely safe.
LEMON: Yes, I agree with that. Kharkiv was one of the first cities heavily targeted by Russians, and I just want to read, this is part of your diary. This is what you wrote about day six of the invasion, and I quote here, you said "yesterday on day, six and on the first day of spring, the bloody Russian world released a controlled missile air strike on Kharkiv's Freedom Square, one of the largest in Europe. The regional administrative building was severely damaged when a jet passes by all of our house, including the basement starts trembling.
Yesterday, after one such flight, we heard an explosion quite close even though I start getting used to the explosions, it's still hard to proceed this jet whistle as something normal. I feel like I will never stop hearing it for the rest of my life, and every rustle in every sound."
Dmytro, explain to people the terror that you've experienced as the city came under attack.
KUZOBOV: It is really hard because it was like a nightmare. Like something you watch only in the movies. And these jet sounds, it's really the most horrible thing because even when you are sitting in the basement you hear this whistle. And it's really horrible.
So, when you came here to the next region, I was afraid of every sound, like the sounds of the car. Because I still remember the sounds of fighter jets and explosions. It's really, it's the most hard to realize.
LEMON: Also, in your diary you write the invaders --
KUZOBOV: And to hear it in a --
LEMON: Go on, Dmytro.
KUZOBOV: Yes. Here in Poltava a few days ago we woke up just hearing these sounds. It was really horrible because I still remember that after the sound, we usually heard something like an explosion. But here, we heard it just for two minutes, and then it was quiet. But we still remember it.
LEMON: I want to read something else in your diary. You write, "the invaders failed to take over the city with tanks and armored vehicles, and it seems like now they have decided to wear us down with aviation. They want to demoralize us. Break us, spread panic, destroy every single place in our city that is dear to us. Erase our collective memory.
Look, the Russian strategy is to break Ukraine, to demoralize the people. What's your message to Putin?
KUZOBOV: I think that, yes, they just -- their ground operation failed, so they tried to demoralize people now. They are bombarding residential areas, schools, kindergartens, our historical and cultural heritage. So, they want to just spread panic among our people. But we still believe that we will win.
Because we have strong military, and we hope that the U.S. and our partners in the west will support us with more weapons with fighter jets and air defense. We hope that NATO will close the sky, finally. So, we will -- we are now fighting against one of the most powerful militaries in the world. Just our country is 24 times smaller than Russia, but we are still fighting. We are fighting for the all Europe now.
LEMON: Yes, you are. You say that your grandpa cannot leave Kharkiv, because he is too weak to leave. Your grandma will not leave him. Are you able to talk to them, can you get them out?
KUZOBOV: Yes, I am talking to them every day. And it's quite noisy in Kharkiv now. They can't sleep, because, for example, a few days ago a rocket failed around half a kilometer from their house. So, it's -- I don't know really how they can live in such conditions, and how other citizens of Kharkiv can live under the constant bombing.
LEMON: Yes. And also, reading your diary you write that your main goal each day is to live. How is this invasion changed you and really, changed all Ukrainians, Dmytro?
KUZOBOV: I'm sorry, I can't hear you now.
LEMON: How has this changed you and all -- you wrote in your diary that this is really, that it changed you. And I wonder how it is changed you and all of Ukrainians?
KUZOBOV: To me, really, I understand now that I didn't have any problems in my past. So, my life was perfect. And now, when I am here 100 kilometers from my home, I really understand that the main goal is to just live, to have a job, to have friends near me.
So, all my friends are in the different corners of Ukraine now in the western cities. My parents lost their job, we lost our home. I can't speak to my grandparents face to face. So, it is just simple things like that, and I think these things are the main things for anyone. So now, I understand that all other things are not so important.
LEMON: Very well put. Dmytro, thank you. We wish you well, you and your family much safety, and better times ahead. Thank you so much. We really appreciate you joining us.
KUZOBOV: Thank you.
LEMON: It's most likely the most important trip of Joe Biden's presidency, I'm going to ask a former ambassador to Ukraine what he is expecting from the summit with NATO leaders right after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: President Joe Biden holding an hour-long call with the leaders
of France, Germany, Italy, and the U.K. The White House saying that they discuss their coordinated response to Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
Later this week, the president flies to Brussels for a meeting with NATO leaders.
Let's discuss now with Ambassador William Taylor, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador, thank you. I really appreciate. You're the perfect person to talk to about this.
President Biden's trip to Europe this week maybe one of the most consequential trips of his presidency. Meeting with 29 other NATO leaders Thursday. What needs to come out of this meeting?
WILLIAM TAYLOR, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO Ukraine: Don, I think two things simply need to come out. One is, they need to open the spigot, they need to open the spigot as wide as it can go on the flow of arms.
In particular, the Javelins and the Stingers but also the larger deeper higher anti-aircraft weapons that they've been considering and they have made available. So that, open spigot is the first thing. And the second is to tighten the noose.
There are still sanctions on the Russians that have now been imposed and should be imposed. And these include, they are some Russian banks, Don, that are not -- that are not cut off from the SWIFT system yet. There are -- there are Duma members who are not sanctioned. There are reports where the Russians can still land with their ships. So, there's a lot that can be done, they have to open the spigot and tighten the noose.
LEMON: Ambassador Taylor, the president is also traveling to Poland and he's going to highlight their efforts to welcome refugees. Poland has been at the center of a number of proposals like getting those MiGs to Ukraine and now a peacekeeping force. What do you think is on the agenda there?
TAYLOR: Those two things for sure, Don, that's exactly right. The other thing though that I'm sure he will -- he will do is congratulate the Pols. Congratulate the Polish people. Congratulate the people on the border near the border, and indeed around the country that have welcomed those Ukrainians into their homes.
This has been an outpouring of support and you know, they are sometimes welcome sometimes not and they've really been welcomed there this time. That needs to be recognized and appreciated.
LEMON: I want to ask you about this Russian tabloid that reported nearly 10,000 Russian troops killed in Ukraine, citing Russia's defense ministry. Now it was up on that site for about 21 hours before it was removed. It is a shocking number and also shocking that it was up that long. What do you think is going on there?
TAYLOR: What's clearly going on is many, many Russian soldiers are dying. Many soldiers are there, they don't know why, not trained for it. They are running up against fierce opposition, fierce fighting from the Ukrainians. And many are dying. This is, you're right, Don, this is in astounding number of Russian soldiers who have died.
You know, we are approaching how many soldiers died in Afghanistan, in a 10-year war. And this has been, what, 26 days. So this is -- this is shocking. When these soldiers go home to be buried, this is adding to the anger that the Russian people feel.
LEMON: Well, I wonder but how long is that going to take to, for the rest of society, or for the majority or at least a large part of the Russian society to realize what is happening. If you look at what happened with the Vietnam war that took years for people to realize what was going on there when you know, when men coming -- were not coming home and some of them coming home extremely damage.
And then you look at, you know, weapons of mass destruction from the second Gulf War. But how long does that take to make a difference within the larger Russian society. That's going to take quite some time.
TAYLOR: Well, it may take quite some time. However, that's not the only thing that the Russians are having to put up with. The Russians are having to deal with an incredible raft of sanctions that is hitting each and every Russian family, it's hitting that family very hard.
The inflation that that's causing, the exchange rate problems in terms of buying power that they each fought. The inability to get the kind of goods that they've been used to, Don. This is, every Russian family is paying this price. And President Putin is going to have to bear that.
LEMON: I want to get, Ambassador, I want to get your reaction to something that we heard from the Pentagon spokesman John Kirby today. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We certainly see clear evidence that Russian forces are committing war crimes. And we are helping with the collecting of evidence of that, but there's investigative processes that are going to go on and we're going to let that happen, we're going to contribute to that investigative process. As for what would come out of that, that's not a decision that the Pentagon leadership would make.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Look, we can all see with our own eyes and we heard President Biden say as much, he thinks Putin is a war criminal. How does Putin here and react to this? TAYLOR: So that's a great question. I think Putin likes to think of
himself as a leader, as a great leader of a great nation. And when he hears, and not only when he hears, Don, but when the Russian people hear the President of the United States, whom they listen to.
They hear that they may not believe everything but they will listen and they will notice it will get through to the Russian people that President Putin is a war criminal and they'll say what? And they will say, how can that be? And they will start to ask questions.
They will figure out. The Russian people will figure out what is going on in Ukraine. And President Putin knows that. President Putin understands that this is, that's not something he can cover-up. So, this is -- this is a real problem for him.
LEMON: Ambassador William Taylor, thank you, sir. I appreciate it.
TAYLOR: Thank you, Don, good to talk to you.
LEMON: I am in Lviv which is a relatively safe although we hear air rates are runs from time to time here. Still people fleeing constant bombardment seem to be just about everywhere in the city. And I've been speaking with them, hearing their stories, and we've got some of those, that's up next.
LEMON: Russia's invasion of Ukraine is nearly one month old. And tonight, the U.N. is saying about one fourth of Ukraine's population has been displaced by the war. I am seeing it for myself right here in Lviv. We are so many refugees from the eastern part of the country have come because the city is still relatively safe.
Today I met some people who were forced to flee the Kharkiv Region which has been badly damaged by Russian bombs. We didn't really have to search out their stories, as a matter of fact, we were on our way to shoot another story when we met them. The stories are just about everywhere you go. Take a look.
LEMON: Darina Rusanova was at her mother's house outside of Kharkiv when Russian bombardment grew closer.
DARINA RUSANOVA, REFUGEE: Everything was doing this --
RUSANOVA: Yes, yes, it was shaking, we were laying on the ground. And like praying we would be safe and alive.
LEMON: After taking cover with her mother and neighbors, they are merged to destruction.
RUSANOVA: Everything is bombed, a lot of glassed was broken, the garage was entirely blown off.
LEMON: This is your house?
RUSANOVA: Yes, mine.
LEMON: My goodness. Her mother taught Tatyana had lived there for 50 years. Now an evacuee with her daughter. Why did you come to Lviv?
UNKNOWN: She says that her was destroyed.
LEMON: Your home was destroyed. Her dog, Martin, two cats, and a backpack of documents and family photographs were all she and her Darina were able to bring.
RUSANOVA: I think I was shocked, I couldn't even cry, I didn't feel anything. I was like, I'm happy I'm alive, I didn't need -- I don't the house, I don't need anything, I just want to be alive and safe. And each day I was praying my mom and I, our dog are safe and that's actually all I need.
LEMON: Are there lots of people like you?
LEMON: Many. The war waring now, a common sight in Lviv as many Ukrainians came here to escape Russian strikes in the east. Lviv is a relatively city as safe as you can be in war, usually more than 700,000 people live here. Now there are more than 200,000 new refugees. And you don't have to go far to find a family or someone who has been displaced. Even in Lviv, the fighting is never far away.
RUSANOVA: Here we feel much more safely, although here there are also some air signals, and we need to go to shelters anyway. And we cannot relax here fully.
LEMON: The war hasn't just changed their external circumstances. It's changed something deep inside.
RUSANOVA: I didn't know I could hate people so much, but I really hate people who came to our country, and did all that with my beloved city, with my neighbors, with my friends, a lot of people lost their homes, their families, their pets, they had to flee somewhere. Not knowing if they will find shelter or not. That's so awful, I really hate all that.
LEMON: And without an end to the fighting in sight, Darina, her mother, and so many Ukrainians have no idea what to expect next. What else could change?
RUSANOVA: I am just here with one bag, and with my cats, and my mom too with a bag and with a dog. And that's all our life now. We cannot really plan something. We just plan our next step for the next day.
RUSANOVA: Yes, day-to-day.
LEMON: You're living day-to-day.
LEMON: What's interesting is that this is a stop for the moment they believe. They're hoping it's the last place they have to go really wanting to get back to their home in the Kharkiv area. But they say if the bombs keep coming, if they start to come this way then they'll have to move further west. They will have to go across the border and go into Poland and further into Eastern Europe other places in Eastern Europe.
So, for the moment this is where they are day-to-da living now in a hostile after having lost their home of 50 years. So many stories like that. We're going to keep bringing them to you live coverage of the war from here in Lviv, Ukraine.
And next, a history making day in the U.S. The confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court began today. You're going to hear from the nominee, that's next.
LEMON: Today the Senate judiciary opening hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. If confirmed, Judge Jackson will be the first black woman to sit on the high court.
In our next hour, you are going to hear some of the Republican attacks aimed at her. But she had a chance to introduce herself in her opening remarks today. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Members of this committee, if I am confirmed, I commit to you that I will work productively to support and defend the Constitution and this grand experience of American democracy that has endured during these past 246 years.
I have been a judge for nearly a decade now, and I take that responsibility, and my duty to be independent very seriously. I decide cases from a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts and I interpret and apply the law to the facts to the case before me without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Judge Jackson also taking a moment to thank retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. She worked for him as a law clerk and calls him a mentor.
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JACKSON: It is extremely humbling to be considered for Justice Breyer's seat. And I know that I could never fill his shoes. But if confirmed, I would hope to carry on his spirit.
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LEMON: Judge Jackson's hearings resume in the morning.
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